Kluge VS C&P

I need some advise… I have been looking for a C&P for a while, as that is what I know and have used. However, I have located a good Kluge and have not found any C&P’s. Is the Kluge going to be a good alternative? I will be doing two and three color pieces with average to small type. Also, die cutting is a bonus. Thoughts?

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i have both a kluge and a c&p, the kluge has a feeder but it can be moved out of the way so i can hand feed it. only problem is the grippers don’t release until the press is fully open, this does not give you time to get next sheet into the press. good luck dick g.

Kluge also made a hand feed press. It has a different cam so that the grippers stay open like the C&P. Not many of these out there from what I have heard.

What about the print quality? Are there any pluses or minuses to the Kluge vs the C&P?

I don’t think you will notice an appreciable difference in the two presses in image quality. I used a hand-fed Kluge as a student at Iowa, and found it to be a great press. The equipment for the Typography Lab was purchased by Carrol Coleman, who used platen presses for all his fine book printing at Prairie Press, and he opted for the Kluge in the Lab. If I remember correctly, the Kluge did have a center bolt which could be used to stiffen the center of the platen if doing extra-heavy impression work. That was 40 years ago, and I may be dreaming about something else. I never had to make any adjustments to the press and was able to print an 8.5”x11” halftone on tissue paper with only standard makeready techniques. I did have to doctor the ink so the paper didn’t stick to the plate, however

I enjoy the feeding of the C&P vs. my Kelsey Union press as the platen opens almost flat for feeding, whereas the Kelsey’s (or any of the other “clamshell” presses’) platen remains more upright. I think the Kluge’s platen opens almost as flat as the C&P’s.

i like the c&p the most but the kluge has 4 form rollers so it inks well, my press was made around 1930, the feeder still works well, its a 12x18, the only bad thing arout the press is putting in a heavy chase, and taking out the ink rollers is lots of fun. if you are doing small runs, the c&p is great. hand feeding long runs gets old fast. good luck dick g.

Hi, All the above is right on. There are other good threads on the subject C&P versus Kluge and Kluge attachments on C&Ps, and compared to Windmills. I operated a 10x15 C&P w/ Kluge attachment. And if a one press shop, that setup or a 12x!8 w/ Kluge is hard to beat for versatility. Hand feeding is easy since both feed and delivery arms lay back out of the way. You hand deliver to the same place as the Kluge while the feed table was usually a wood drying tray on a trash can. Dick
BTW: W had a treadle and it was easy to disconnect the pump and hook-up the treadle and pump it just for fun while hand feeding. I was 13 and 60 years ago. D

I was in the same situation and ended up with a Kluge. 2 of them in fact!

Be prepared to do a little extra homework with the Kluge. It can take some time to figure out the feeder. Ideally you would be buying from a seller who knows how it works, but that’s not always the case.

Also, the Kluges are heaaaaaaaavy. Forget about trying to move them by manpower and you’ll have a better move.

They’re kind of intimidating at first, but I like my Kluges now more than the C&P I learned on. Oh, and it helps that they’re not in as high demand as the “royalty” of letterpress — windmills, vandercooks, and C&P’s, oh my!

I too think that either machine will do a great job as far as print quality goes. However, my personal preference is for the C&P since they seem to be easier to work on. That may be because I’ve worked with more C&Ps, though.

I would like to temper my opinion with a comment: I only recommend a full sized C&P or Kluge for people with experience and / or training in their safe use. Either one can bite.

Word! My Kluges (two N’s and and one ND) have large warning stickers on them “Do Not Hand Feed This Press!” I think there is a reason for that. Although I could swing away the feeder and hand feed the Kluge N, it is not advisable because of the timing of the grippers. But, hey, I have a paltry half million imps on the C&P NS. My advice: If you want to hand feed, use the C&P NS, if you want auto feed, buy a Kluge N. But never try to hand feed a Kluge N series, Lefty.

If you do die cutting on either, try to keep the majority of your pressure in the middle of the form.

Hi, all

I seem to remember hearing long ago that Kluge made an alternate cam for handfeeding.


I’ve been using a Kluge 10x15 for a while now and Personally i think they are great machines, I taught myself the ins and outs of the machine and about 2 weeks, even though I’m sure there is much more to discover. The feeder is relatively easy to use and although the allure of hand feeding a press is intriguing, I feel much safer letting the machine feed for me while keeping my hands far out of the way. As long as it is set up properly it registers wonderfully. And if you end up getting one you can easily find a manual on ebay that covers setting up and operating the feeder.